The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Great Breakfast Experiment

I was reading some of the articles posted on the Core Performance website, and I came across this one. That's right gardening is NOT exercise. And neither is reading People magazine on the treadmill. Gardening and walking are better than nothing (and certainly better than sitting on the couch watching a football game with one hand in a bag of chips and the other hand caressing a 40 oz. soda), but they won't make you fit. You have to work hard to improve your fitness. It's all about the intensity. If you give a stress test (running on a treadmill as the intensity increases) to a whole bunch of people and predict which ones will live the longest, it's the people that can run the longest and the hardest. So, when I got to the gym last night, wasn't I all smug. I knew I was better than all the other middle aged ladies because I was doing intervals, watching my heart rate hitting 85-90%, huffing and puffing and sweating. They were reading their magazines and watching the evening news and chatting away. Seriously, I am so in the minority! There are very few women my age that take spin classes, and very few that do any sort of cardio with real intensity. I also know that for every woman my age that goes to the gym regularly there are probably 10 that never get any exercise, so at least these ladies are there burning some calories. But sometimes I want to yell at them, "you can do a whole lot better than that!!!" That's how you make friends and influence people at the gym, right? Tell them they are SLUGS!

Now, since the new year I have working very hard on the "calories in" part of the equation, and I am eating much better quality food. I am trying to avoid processed carbs and eat some protein at every meal, but I am struggling with breakfast. I have a little crockpot and I often set it up with a timer to cook a mixed grain hot cereal ( I mix a big batch of the grains using a recipe from Cooking Light. I keep it in the freezer and throw about 1/3 cup of the mix into the crockpot with about 1 cup of water). That has about 8 gm of protein, maybe a little more when I throw in some almonds and occasionally a little bit of milk. When I forget to set up the crockpot, I have a bowl of cold cereal and milk. That has about the same amount of protein, but I want to avoid the processed carbs. I think I should push up the amount of protein too, since I don't eat meat. I am struggling to come up with vegetarian alternatives that have a good amount of protein. I think I have to get out of the breakfast mindset and think about eating lunch at breakfast time. So I have been thinking about having soup and salads with whole grains for breakfast. My kids already think I have some strange eating habits! I also reserved a book on Smoothies through the library, but I don't think I'm really a smoothie kinda girl. Anyway, I will report back on the GBE - Great Breakfast Experiment


Laurie said...

I am totally with you on people who go to the gym and walk on the treadmill or just do low intensity stuff. But at least they are there. They are not going to get fit but they are not going to get fat either so they have that going for them. They will also live longer than the ones who sit on the couch watching tv and eating chips.

What I hate the most is when people justify eating junk by saying they take the stairs to their office instead of the elevator. Right, like that equates!

Anonymous said...

Breakfast can be boring if you stick with traditional breakfast type foods.
I eat a Protien Plus PowerBar in the car on the way to work so can't give any good suggestions..
Oatmeal with a handfull of dried cranberries is my meal of choice before a 2 hour inline speed practice though.
Nothing keeps me going like oatmeal.

Shelly said...

Laurie, I seem to remember a photo that was being circulated via email. It showed a gym/health club with an escalator up to the front door. They probably sell chiops and soda inside!

SH, I do love a bowl of steel-cut oats, and that's the base of my multi-grain crockpot concoction. But I'm getting sick of that 4 or 5 days a week. I'll let you know what astonishing breakfast discoveries I make.